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Love in Bloom [Paperback]

Sheila Roberts
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 22.99
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Book Description

March 31 2009

         Hope Walker survived early breast cancer at just thirty-years-old, but a mastectomy left her with a lot of scarring—and some serious fears about dating.  Hope owns Changing Seasons, Heart Lake’s most popular flower shop.  When it comes to love and relationships, she’s able to work magic through her expert flower arranging…for everyone but herself.  Then one day a handsome contractor starts coming into her shop, but Hope knows he’d rather have a whole woman than someone like her.

         When Hope stakes a plot of ground at Heart Lake’s community garden, she finds that a woman can grow all sorts of things there: flowers, herbs, vegetables and even friendship.  As she gets to know the two women who share neighboring plots, they discover that they can learn a lot from each other—not just about gardening, but about life.  And Hope realizes that in order to live life to the fullest, sometimes you have to take a chance on love.


Frequently Bought Together

Love in Bloom + Angel Lane + The Nine Lives of Christmas
Price For All Three: CDN$ 49.91

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Review

"A sweet tale of unexpected friendships blossoming in a community garden, this well-written story will have readers sympathizing with the characters' plights -- and itching to get their fingers digging in the dirt!"
--RT Book Reviews
 
"Gardening, girl talk, and a gorgeous guy underpin this tale of what constitutes beauty and one’s true self."
--Library Journal
 
"A congenial cast of subsidiary characters ... meet Hope at a community garden plot and share their stories there. Roberts effectively knits these troubled but kindly characters together in a story line that throws the reader a few unexpected twists."
--The Seattle Times
 
"Love in Bloom is a wonderful story with characters so real and defined I feel like I am personally acquainted with them. ... There is humor and emotion in large quantities in this fantastic book that is next to impossible to put down. Kudos and a large bouquet of flowers to Sheila Roberts for giving us one of the best books of the year."
--Fresh Fiction
 
"A great read."
--BookLoons

About the Author

Sheila Roberts is the author of On Strike for Christmas, Small Change, The Snow Globe, Bikini Season, and other bestselling books. Before settling into her writing life, Roberts did lots of other things, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Now, when she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences, she can be found writing about the things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate. She lives on a lake in Washington.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Love in Bloom by Sheila Roberts. Sept. 23 2013
By Sylvia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read several of her books and this is the one I liked the least. But they all can't be #1
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A love story that is rated PG July 4 2009
By Mary E. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was an enjoyable little love story. The characters were well developed. I enjoyed the interaction of the older widow and the young business owner. The relationship of the sisters was also handled nicely. I like the way the author handled the body image of the breast cancer survivor. I also appreciate her for giving us a strong male character with sensitivity and a good heart. I'm married to a good man, and I like seeing males portrayed in a positive light.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars profound character study March 31 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Thirty years old Hope Walker physically survived breast cancer, but mentally the mastectomy has left her doubting she is a complete woman; consequently Hope no longer dates. Instead, she hides in the Changing Seasons Floral shop she owns; enhancing her lovely flower arrangements with beautiful written poetry. When contractor Jason Wells enters the florist, Hope realizes he is the first man she has found interesting since the operation. However, she knows she has no chance after he meets her whole sister Bobbi.

Septuagenarian widow Millie Baldwin moved to Heart Lake to move on with her life and assist her acrimonious recently divorced daughter Debra and two grandchildren. Also newly arrived in town is Amber Howell seeking to start over at a time when she feels she has nothing. These newcomers and Hope meet at a community garden plot project and becomes friends nurturing one another as they struggle to start over.

Bobbi is attracted to Jason's friend Duke whom she meets after she starts dating Jason. Millie meets the younger Altheus and encouraged by her two garden buds over the objections of her offspring, decides to see him. Amber struggles with her depressed husband Ty, whose feelings of failure after their restaurant went bankrupt leaves her alone to raise their son and bring in income while he wallows his life way.

This is a profound character study of three females at different points in their respective lives summed up nicely by Millie who poignantly realizes that strangers make her feel needed and wanted more than her family does. The ensemble cast is fully developed so everyone matters. With plenty of metaphors between gardening and living, fans will relish the adventures of the three amigas as all kinds of relationships blossom when LOVE IN BLOOM is flourishing.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and charming - Highly Recommended!!! April 10 2009
By Maudeen Wachsmith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Watch out Debbie Macomber, we have another author of heartwarming, charming stories set in the Pacific Northwest who is going to be soon be sharing your readers. Her name is Sheila Roberts and this is a name to remember because if her future books are as outstanding as LOVE IN BLOOM she should become a household name soon.

Heart Lake is a small, tight-knit community in western Washington. Its beauty and charm has attracted newcomers and keeps many native residents.

Flower shop owner Hope has recently recovered from breast cancer. Although she had reconstruction, she is very self-conscious as the surgery left her with scars, as many emotional as physical. She feels that she is never going to be attractive to men again. When the very attractive Jason enters her shop, both she and her sister Bobbi are instantly attracted to him, but feeling about herself as she does, she helps Bobbi try to snag "Mr. Right" even though she would love to get to know the handsome contractor better. It isn't long before Jason takes the bait and begins to date the fun-loving Bobbi, who, to try to make herself more attractive to him, tells him little white lies regarding her life and the activities she enjoys. Will he ever find out that he really has more in common with Hope?

Seventy-seven year old Millie is new to town. A widow, she has moved in with her busy divorced daughter Debra to help her care for her grandchildren. But Debra is quick to take advantage of Millie's generosity leaving very little time for Millie to have a life of her own. An avid gardener, Millie soon finds out about the community garden and doesn't waste anytime staking out her own plot. Soon a flower-delivering mishap changes her life in a way she could have never imagined.

Also new to town is young wife and mother Amber whose chef husband lost their restaurant business. They had to sell their home to pay off their loans, and now husband Ty is more often a couch potato then a job applicant which causes friction between the two. They have found a cozy cabin in Heart Lake but to help make ends meet, Amber and her young son Seth stake out a plot in the community garden next to Millie's.

Millie and Amber become fast friends. Millie finds Amber more appreciative of her than her own daughter does. Millie shares some cookie recipes with Amber and soon she is selling the delicious lavender and carrot cookies to help with household expenses.

This book as it all - romance, women's friendship, poignancy, and characters the reader can't help but love. Sheila Roberts has written a heartwarming novel that is difficult to put down once started. It's a great read for the springtime and gardening time where not only flowers but love is in bloom. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself" - May Sarton Sept. 28 2009
By L. Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The community garden in the small Washington town of Heart Lake brings together three women facing obstacles in their lives. Hope Walker is a 30 year old breast cancer survivor who has built a lovely life for herself - a life that includes everything except romance. Hope's surgeries have left her with scars, emotional and physical, and she can't believe that any man will want her so she firmly closes the door on that part of her life. Millie is a 77 year old widow who has moved across the country to live with her divorced daughter and two grandchildren. She soon finds herself at loose ends, unable to connect with her bitter, self-centered daughter and spoiled grandkids. Amber is a young mom barely clinging on to a faltering marriage and struggling with financial hardships. Over a period of several months the women form a bond and offer each other advice and support as they work through the challenges in their lives as well as their gardens.

This was a lovely book; sweet and uplifting. I liked the way the women's individual stories were woven throughout the book and Hope's story was particularly touching. The character of Jason, Hope's "love interest", was nicely written and Hope's sister, Bobbi, offers some comic relief. If you're reading this for the romance you might be disappointed - the focus is on the women and the strength they draw from each other. Jason and Hope's relationship is more of a side story but it is engaging none the less.

The setting is present day Washington state; some mild swearing with no explicit sex.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartwarming...an excellent read June 25 2009
By Laura B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sheila Roberts reminds me a lot of Debbie Macomber. Like Macomber's books, this one is set in Washington near Seattle. She also allows you to really get to know the characters and empathize with them.
This book follows three women who are linked through gardening patches at the local park. Millie is a seventy-seven-year-old grandmother who is helping out her newly divorced daughter with her household and two children. Amber is a young mother with an out-of-work husband and a flailing marriage. Hope is a thirty-year-old breast cancer survivor who is still afraid of living. Each learns from the others and grows in her relationships with others and herself. Even though the interactions between the women were limited, they were poignant and really brought the story together. Each individual story was strong and well-developed. I found myself liking all of the women and rooting for them.
What I really enjoy about her books are the messages of hope and life. Things may not always be perfect, but there are always good things and those that are bad can be made better--we all make choices.
I read this book in one day and finished feeling happy--that makes it a perfect book for me. I will continue to look forward to new books from Roberts.
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